What to Know About: General Contractors »
Whether your home needs a complete renovation, or a room needs to be repaired, there are some things to know before you hire.
Miami, FL 33101
1450 NE 2nd AveMiami, FL 33132
From Business: Miami-Dade County Public Schools, also known as MDCPS, offers a range of educational options. The district enrolls students in pre-kindergarten through grade 12 t…
Whether your home needs a complete renovation, or a room needs to be repaired, there are some things to know before you hire.
Would not recommend ever using Blue Star Management Services. Very poor customer service. We have had issues with our unit since the beginning- starting with the A/C not working the first day we moved in. The A/C stopped working two additional times after that. Then there was a leak in the sink in our bathroom. Then we found water damage on the walls in our bathroom and the walls in our dining room, to the point where there was a mushroom growing out of our bathroom wall. After three weeks of having contractors and A/C repair guys come to the unit to try to fix the problem (during which time they removed the parts of the wall that had water damage, in the process revealing mold that had formed in the walls), we were asked to move out of our unit temporarily so that they could fix the leak. So we did, under the grounds that our rent would be prorated in the amount per day it would cost them to put us in a hotel (we stayed with family instead, but all parties agreed that we would be compensated for the days we were not in our unit). Originally we were told it would only take 7 days,We were out of our unit for a total of 17 days, with no updates or follow up from the management company during that time. We were always the ones who had to reach out to them to see what was going on. We received no reports from contractors or Mold inspection companies that the leak had been taken care of and our unit was free from mold (even after requesting them), but were asked to go off of the word of the management company alone. Come to find out that we are only being prorated an amount of $50 per day, for 14 days (not even the full amount of time that we have been out of our unit). After going back and forth through email and phone, I decided to visit the office and get everything straightened out once an for all. Upon arriving, multiple employees were very rude to me and the manager refused to even see me at all. We deserve to be treated with more respect and kindness.
Carlos was always on time and gave me a very fair estimate for the job. We both agreed on terms for the job and he came through with out any problems. Would recommend him to any one else.Note: He helped me get my front door approved by the county after a previous contractor failed the inspection 4 times.
Great service and attention to detail. Overall a great experience. I will call them again for any renovations in my home.
I have been dealing with this company for over 3 years and its been fantastic. From the very beginning they where professional, respectful and crystal clear on all the charges. Yes they are strict with their terms, as I would be too if I invested so much money in a unit. People forget that the property owners have bills and families to take care of. Blue Star asks for the units to be returned painted and in the same conditions as they where given, which is always IMPECCABLE. They where always very responsive when it came down to a maintenance issue and kept me on the loop. They where never dismissive or treated me like an annoyance unlike other companies. As long as you pay on time and take care of the property, it will be smooth sailing with them.Will definitely recommend!
The lady at the office does absolutely nothing. How can she earn a salary for her laziness, rudeness, and nonchalant attitude?!?Customer service is horrible. Don't get me started on the property manager. He never follows through with what he says, all talk and never replies to phone calls or text messages. We can't wait to move out of this hell hole where the rules are not enforced and most neighbors do NOT treat others with respect. Common courtesy has been replaced with entitlement and petty juvenile behavior.
No pierdan su dinero rentandole a estas personas .Estuve viviendo en una propiedad de ellos 2 anos .En varias ocaciones el a/c se dano y tardaron mas de 2 semanas en repararlo .La lavadora dejo de funcionar y nunca mandaron a nadie a chequearla .Cuando se vencio el lease se quedaron con todo el dinero del deposito .En pocas palabras...... son unos ladrones .
Do not ever consider renting anything from these people. They no people skills and no business ethic. I rented from them and I regret it. They were calling me everyday to get me to rent with them and to obtain the money but now that the lease is over, I can't speak to any of them to get my deposit back. they sent me a ridiculous list of charges as to why they wont refund me my deposit. I called to do a walk through with them I go no response, suddenly they're always on vacation or never in the office. I ask to see pics of what made them keep my deposit finally I the pictures. How could leave a hair scroungy on the windowsill, and put screw on the bathroom drain so it won't move will I shower where I can slip and crack my head open, I apparently have to pay for a smoke detector which they sent an email that they were going to upgrade and I have to be available during a certain time for when the guy get there to make the change. I have to pay for a paint bucket which they left in the closet suddenly it became mine which i left there, I left a can of raid by the front door because its so hard to pick up and throw away they consider that deep cleaning, there was no physical damage to the property just a few items I forgot with some dust particles on a light shade. I return the main door key and the mailbox key on the exact key chain, they gave those keys to me but yet they included a picture if a key which I am still trying to get an explanation for that cost. They are claiming $1230 of my $1550 security deposit. I purposely didn't clean the the oven because I am pregnant and after scrubbing and cleaning trying to be a decent person to return the apartment in excellent condition, they pull this stunt. I didn't mind they took out for the oven, I expected 150 for that buy the ridiculous things they came up with to hold $1230 out of $1550 is unjust. They are professional thieves. Don't waste your precious time and your hard earned money with these bullies.
Lakeview Management is an Excellent Company! Omar Lopez, Margie and the rest of the staff are consummate Professionals! They address any questions or concerns I have in a prompt and courteous manner. We have been in our community Deerwood Estates since 1992 and they are the reason why the community is beautiful and property values high! If you have Lakeview Management as your HOA consider yourself fortunate. I Highly Recommend Them!
In Miami, it is so rare to find honest, talented professionals to handle your home construction and remodeling needs, either big or small. We have been fortunate to use XTRM for several jobs, all sizes. We have recommended them to friends who were equally as happy and impressed with XTRM. Always professional, prompt, caring, and honest, they deserve their success! Unlike other contractors, they will take you to see their previous work and you can see for yourself. As further example, they have even maintained the same long-term on-staff workers over the years we have been using them, due to the company's professional and ethical approaches. - Sincerely, Miami Beach Homeowner.
es una excelente firma servicio y calidad con una atencion profesional y con calidad hunana para nuestros cliente
There has perhaps never been a better tool for do-it-yourself home handymen than the internet. With detailed instructions and videos explaining how to perform a number of common maintenance and renovation tasks around a house, an untrained homeowner might be surprised at how much he or she can accomplish with a quick search online. But even with all of this information, there are still many jobs that lie far outside the scope of most DIY enthusiasts. General contractors are there to fill in this gap.
A general contractor specializes in seeing a home remodel or repair project through from start to finish. To do this, the contractor works with the client - whether they are a homeowner or business - to nail down the scope of the work. Then he or she will turn to one or more subcontractors for specific tasks, like equipment operation, design, electrical work or whatever else is needed.
In essence, general contractors could be thought of as middlemen between a homeowner or business owner and any number of specialists. To get their money's worth, many assume they should just "cut out the middleman" and hire specialists directly, but this often proves more difficult in practice. General contractors won't be completing an entire project by themselves, but should have a long list of dependable experts who can work together and accomplish any task. They might also serve as the manager on the site of a construction project, overseeing workers and providing guidance and assistance when needed. For larger projects, though, the contractor might only handle administrative matters and employ a foreman or other professional for on-site supervision.
There are many general contractors who also specialize in certain tasks themselves. There is usually at least one general contractor on hand to organize the construction of an entire home, for example. But general contractors could also help a homeowner add an additional bedroom, build an in-ground pool or complete a major landscaping project. They could also work with a business to add or improve office space, whether that means making more room or converting a commercial building from a nail salon to a restaurant. Basically, if it's a job that involves building or repairing, a general contractor probably knows how to get it done.
No matter what the exact job may be, a contractor will probably need to accomplish several other essential tasks in pursuit of the ultimate goal, which may include:
Every general contractor performing any kind of work on a project must be licensed to do so in their state. The guidelines for the specifics on licensing vary from state to state. Some states might only require registration of contractors, which is different from licensing. Registration typically means that there must be a written record of what work is being performed and by whom, but it does not guarantee professional knowledge. Licensing, on the other hand, involves an examination process to assess professional competence.
Whether your state requires licensing or registration of contractors, there should be a record of most professionals willing to complete certain projects in your area. Check your state or county website for more information. In states that require licensing, every licensed contractor's contact information is available online or from another public source.
Not every project needs to be completed by a licensed or registered contractor. If it's just a minor job that won't take more than a day or two, and will cost less than a few hundred dollars, it's likely not necessary to find a licensed or registered contractor. However, anything bigger or more expensive, or a project involving plumbing or electrical work, needs to be completed by a licensed or registered professional.
General contractors also must be covered by an insurance policy. This should include liability coverage for any property damage that could be inflicted in the course of a job. It should also include a worker's compensation policy in case anyone is injured on the job. Before hiring a contractor for anything, ask for written proof of this insurance to see exactly what is covered.
A number of trade associations for contractors in the U.S. exist. Some of the biggest include:
Most trade associations for general contractors will provide references for anyone looking to hire a contractor for a specific project. They may also provide a number of benefits for their members, including assistance with licensing, training, insurance and business development.
No matter what you need accomplished, you want to choose a contractor who can get the job done right at a reasonable price. Obviously, this is easier said than done, but there are a few steps you can take to ensure you find a trustworthy general contractor.
The first, and perhaps most reliable, way to find a general contractor is to ask friends and family members for a recommendation. If you know anyone who has had major work done on their home, particularly if it's a similar job, ask them who they hired and if they were pleased with the result. You could also ask neighbors about who they've hired if you notice work being done on their house. Many remodeling contractors post signs in front of homes to advertise their services. As a general rule, it's rarely a good idea to hire a contractor who solicits work by going door to door.
If you are considering hiring a contractor without a personal recommendation, ask the contractor for references from past clients, and do as much background research on them as possible. Look for any complaints (or compliments) online to get a better idea of their track record. There are a number of websites specializing in connecting contractors with people or businesses who need work done. These sites may also allow past clients to submit their own reviews of the contractor.
Before hiring a contractor, make sure you are both in agreement on the project's budget. It's normal for most contractors to charge clients a premium not only for the labor expenses and zoning expertise, but for acquiring the materials as well. Be as clear and concise as possible regarding what you'll be purchasing yourself and what you will be paying the contractor to complete. Homeowners may be able to find a better deal on raw materials when they purchase these directly, but they first need to be sure they aren't buying the wrong things.
Don't forget to discuss how the project will be finalized and what will be done about cleanup. Plans for how the work site will be cleaned at the end of each day as well as at the conclusion of work need to be put in writing. An experienced general contractor should make every effort to keep the workspace clean and prevent dirtying or damaging any other area. Even so, talk with the contractor about the daily schedule, the logistics of transporting workers and equipment, and how cleanup will be handled.
As previously mentioned, you need to make sure to follow any state and local regulations regarding construction work, which includes hiring a licensed or registered general contractor. Ask the contractor for proof of their certification before signing anything, as well as their proof of insurance. You should also check your homeowners insurance policy to see if they offer coverage for contracted work. You may want to call your insurance provider and ask for more details on what your plan will and won't cover.
Perhaps the best way to feel safe about a contractor and the work being done is to hire a contractor you trust. This is why relying on personal references from friends and family is so important, and will often provide a great deal of peace of mind. If you aren't able to obtain a reference, work to conduct extensive research on the contractor as well as the work you are hiring them to perform. This should bring everyone's expectations into alignment and result in a safe work environment.
Before any money changes hands, there should be a contract to sign. Make sure the specifics of the work to be done and all costs are listed in the contract, right down to the most precise details. If you forget to have something included in the contract after signing it, there's rarely a chance of recourse.
Once the specifics of the job are nailed down, be sure to discuss the payment schedule with the contractor. This is important because paying too much up front offers the homeowner minimal leverage if the quality of work does not meet expectations or contractual specifications. Try to establish a reasonable pay schedule with the contractor, such as paying 10 percent of the total cost for each 10 percent of the work that is completed. It's a good idea to include this payment plan in the contract as well.
Finally, look into getting a lien release signed before work begins. If there is ever a dispute regarding payment over the course of the project, a contractor or subcontractor could place a payment claim, or lien, on your property. This can trigger a long legal process that may be frustrating. To avoid this, ask the contractor to sign a lien release, which is a legal agreement that states that any payment accepted is final. This can come in handy if a contractor has his or her own payment issues with their subcontractors. Signing a lien release form certifies that any payment made by a client to the contractor is enough to pay for any goods or services rendered. A lien dispute could also be prevented by performing due diligence prior to picking a contractor, as any contractor with good credit and a long track record of satisfied clients should have no trouble paying for materials and labor once all contract conditions have been met.
Once work is underway, it's never a bad idea to check up on the progress of the job, either by staying in touch with the contractor over the phone or visiting the site in person. If you work with a trustworthy professional, it's probably best to keep your distance and allow everyone to stay busy. If you want to keep an eye on things, make sure workers wear the right safety gear and that everything looks to be moving along according to schedule. Finally, once work is finished and you are satisfied, be sure to thank your contractor and tell friends or family members about your experience.